on that question I posed earlier re: what to do with the SAAs who tend to gather in the trees when we're bloodied. This passage comes from the first story, "Apocalypse," in Lopez's collection Resistance:
Her tears, I thought, were over a kind of loss we had talked about in recent weeks, the way the fabric of love scorches, no matter how vigilant we are. The intricate nature of the emotions men and women exchange made the two of us sense our own endangerment when we disagreed; but we had also been speaking of the ephemeral love one can feel toward a complete stranger, for the way they step off a sidewalk or a father hands his daughter her gloves at the door. Bound together in these many ways we are still swept suddenly out of each other's lives, by tides we don't recognize and tides we do. The sensation of loss, the weight of grief, the feeling of being naked to a menace are hard to separate. The fear of an outside force at work makes us reticent in love and suspicious. We identify enemies.
The instruments of discord show up daily in our lives, of course, demanding our attention. The unscrupulous peer, the woman on the make, the purblind enforcer, the self-anointed official and his cronies, people with a craving for confrontation. We are foolish to give any of them what they ask for, and we betray ourselves and anyone toward whom we have ever felt tender by not sending such people immediately on their way.
There's fortification for you. Barry's tonic for emotional health. Drink it down.